The dating scene is, as ever, complicated and confusing. But with TikTok’s obsession of naming every trend, the relationship world seems denser than it ever has before. One that has never really left us is the delusionship – a rather intimidating name for something we have all at some point experienced. Or not, but it may be on the cards anytime soon.
With summer coming up, the flings will arise and the prospects will come flooding, but these predisposed ideas of what we should be looking out for are sometimes hindering our ability to throw ourselves in the deep end. Enter delsuionships.
If you have been scouring TikTok you will know that the trend has many branches, but in its simplest form, it is fantasising about what could come with a partner who hasn’t actually started a relationship as of yet. It could be closing yourself off from other partners, imagining your life with them, planning dates, or accidentally bumping into them, when really you have only met them once or perhaps just matched with them on a dating app. Luckily, TikTok isn’t making us feel guilty about it, and the delusionship has become somewhat of a phenomenon that everyone can relate to.
The subject could be your neighbour, a stranger, or even a famous celebrity. It truly doesn’t matter, and your feelings are valid under the umbrella of delusionships. In essence, it sugarcoats that all-consuming infatuation or crush on someone.
The hashtag has 17.7 million views and counting, with almost as many videos exposing the inner thoughts of users who are in mid to late delusion. Lots of them are dubbing Taylor Swift as the queen of fuelling delusionship lovers, with one video highlighting the lyrics from her song ‘Foolish One’ which says “You give me just enough attention to keep my hopes too high.”
The great thing about these millions of users talking about their embarrassing “before-bed thoughts” (which is when we usually think about our delusionship the most, apparently) is that we are educating on toxic behaviours and understanding not blaming oneself. What’s so bad about daydreaming anyways?
Unlike other trends – red flags, situationships, etc – the delusionship is effectively just testing the waters. It reinforces being confident in yourself and placing value on getting what you desire by sharing how you feel about someone. “Besties,” one user addresses her followers, “I think it’s okay to be a little delulu sometimes. I swear I’ve been in a delusionship for months and it makes me get up and dress cute and eat (semi) healthy. A little delulu never hurt nobody.”
All the videos are rather tongue-in-cheek, but also brutally honest. Comments provide support, advice, and opinions about how much “delulu” is enough, and it has bred a community that has begun to understand themselves before they invest in somebody else, who may not be for them anyway. Some may get carried away with their idealisations that aren’t coming into actuality, but on hand are a plethora of TikTok users that have had the same experience.
Especially for Gen Zers, who have already said romance is dead on the app, this can provide that glimmer of hope to keep going. The trend has already resulted in many success stories, combining the manifestation side of TikTok who are saying that envisioning what you want usually gets it you in the end. Who knows, maybe if we manifest Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles enough we could get some serious results. It’s officially the summer of delusionships!